Rimworld Review (PC): Colony Building Done Right

Rimworld: The game where people can get mauled by a group of turtles.
Rimworld: The game where people can get mauled by a group of turtles.

Rimworld Review: Introduction

Rimworld is a game that I never expected to invest so much time into. The main goal of Rimworld is to get of the world by a spaceship. But the question is: Will your colonists survive long enough?

I have a lot of hours sunk into Rimworld, around 70 plus hours and counting just seeing how my colony lives and survives different events. There’s so much to do in the game, and it’s all up to you on how you want to take on the world.

Everything’s Generated

Every world is generated through a seed, and you get to choose where to start your own colony. Not only is the world generated, your first three colonists are randomized too. You won’t experience the same playthrough twice with how the game generates things for you.

Each of your colonists are unique, every one of them are randomized and can help your colony in different ways. Some of your colonists can be really skilled at certain things, others may good at nothing, and some can also be incapable of doing tasks due to their traits.

Your colonists may be amazing builders, overly charismatic speakers, others can be psychopaths that don’t mind eating humans.

But with enough work, colonists can level up their skills even when starting at zero, just be ready if things go wrong, like say a pack of monkeys decided not to be domesticated.

Surviving The Unforgiving “Rim” World

You start out with nothing but scraps from a ship you crash landed from, and soon you’ll be making fortresses with flat screen TVs and machine gun turrets. It’s rewarding to see how far your colony has survived, especially since the world doesn’t seem to hold your hand at all, aside from the tutorial.

It’s not much, but man does it feel good to see it alive.

The more time you invest in your colony, the more it feels alive. It’s nice to see all your colonists moving by themselves, making use of the limited time they have before the inevitable.

Research is essential for survival; you’re going to need to develop different things to make your colony easier to manage. You can research drugs, weapons, and eventually spaceship parts, it’s up to you on what your colony researches on.

I’ve made my colony thrive on making smokeleaf joints. It’s pretty profitable actually, my colony is the local smokejoint dealer around and we accepted payments in medicine and components.

Trading is also important if you don’t have enough resources. The prices depend on your relationships with other colonies. Good relationships mean better prices, bad ones mean they’ll keep raiding you. Relationships with other colonies go down naturally, so be sure to keep trading.

Make sure you are friends with your neighbors or they might just keep raiding you.

Storytellers (just pick Randy)

Depending on your difficulty, lots of events can happen in your playthrough. You can have raiders invading every ten minutes, or you can have a pack of mad Yorkshire Terriers that want to kill you.

There are three AI storytellers to choose from, all having different personalities and bring something different to your game.

If you want to play a normal but challenging game, go for Cassandra Classic. Cassandra will keep your game interesting by throwing good and bad events at you at a reasonable pace.

Phoebe Chillax isn’t so chill actually. She can go from zero to a hundred real quick. One day you’re calmly picking berry bushes, and the next day a colony of giant man-eating insects decide to visit.

If you want a wild ride, definitely go for Randy Random. He just doesn’t care about you. He’ll throw anything at you at any time, good or bad events. I don’t know how many times he left us in an eternal eclipse and made all my animals infected with the flu. At least he sprouts up a lot of ambrosia everywhere for me to sell.

I’ve been playing on community builder difficulty with Cassandra and I still got some colonists mauled by monkeys and rhinos. But they’re right when they say that Randy is the way to go if you want a ride.

Another One Bites the Dust… And Another…

There are plenty of ways for your colonists to die in the world, so try not to get too attached to them. Others can die from diseases, untreated wounds, rabid animals, and even just getting their head blown off instantly with a gun.

One of my colonists died because another colonist decided to shoot a shotgun right behind him, blasting his skull into bits. I was tempted to banish her for friendly fire, but then decided to keep her and made her workload heavier cause she didn’t feel any remorse since she’s a psychopath.

Just another day of all my colonists trying to survive an insect attack.

Killboxes: Love him or hate it, it’s spittin’ facts.

Combat can get crazy when you encounter big raids. It gets intense because you don’t know if your colonists are going to survive or not, they could get mortally wounded or even die on the spot. Defense and armor are essential to keeping them alive long enough to get treatment.

If you don’t want to lose anymore colonists, I suggest making a killbox. Yeah it’s kinda cheesy and exploits the AI pathfinding, but it works well if you get tired of managing each of your colonists during fights. Killboxes are good for late game if you don’t want to deal with stressful firefights anymore.

Your average killbox on the left. Don’t mind the huge graveyard on the right.

“Recuiting The Dude You Almost Killed” Simulator

Inevitably, your colonists will die sooner or later, but there are handful of ways to get more colonists to replace them. You can seriously maim a raider, capture him, and then try to recruit him in to your colony. Other ways are to buy slaves off a slave trader that would pass through, or rescue people that randomly spawn in the world.

Though my favorite is to capture raiders cause it’s the easiest. If they don’t wanna join, I could sell their organs or release them.

If you can, keeping prisoners is a good way of recruiting more people to your colony.

Rimworld tells all. Even when your colonist lost his toe.

And speaking of organs, each living being in Rimworld has a health system. You can see the conditions of their limbs all in one tab. You also have the ability to attach prosthetics or even harvest organs if you’re feeling evil.

There’s even a log that goes in-depth in what happens with each colonists. You can see how the interactions with others went and it even shows a battle log every time they enter combat.

One moment they’re chatting about their hair, now they’re fighting for their lives.

With all this in mind, it’s tough to manage your colony. They all have different needs and you have to meet those otherwise they’ll start mentally breaking and eat all your food, or even try to murder someone. It can get stressful to manage your colonists, but that’s charm of the game.

Graphics and Sound Design

The graphics are alright, nothing to write home about. It’s got a minimalist look to it, which is good since it make it easier to recognize different things in the world.

The soundtrack can be described as calming with that wild west feel to it, It doesn’t get too boring to listen to the songs on repeat.

The sound effects are also pretty good. One nice detail is that gunshots are loud and instant when you are close but start to echo out when you are at a far distance. The sound of pouring rain, chirping birds, and grasshoppers all give this feeling of being in the wild world.

Oh Randy, thanks for the Capybara I guess.

Rimworld Review: Final Words

I definitely recommend Rimworld. There’s even more mechanics and details than I can cover in this review, and that shows how much value you get in this small but beautiful game.

If you like base building games, or just like seeing how the things you’ve built come alive, you’ll feel at home here. Rimworld is an amazing game to kill time with. I found myself staying up until 3 AM just expanding my fortress.

There are even workshop mods that make a ton of improvements to the game. Maybe my colonists won’t accidentally shoot each other now.

Pick up the game on sale, or even in full price since it’s not that expensive right now, and you will soon lose yourself in the harsh but charming world Rimworld has.